Japanese Businessman Honored by Sister Cities
Student Exchange Supported by Harashin Company of Japan for 20 Years
Fort Worth will reach a milestone in international exchanges this year celebrating twenty years participation in the Harashin Scholars program with Nagaoaka, Japan, Fort Worth’s sister city since 1987. Starting in 1990, The Harashin Co. of Nagaoka has funded scholarships for eight Fort Worth students and two teachers to visit Japan each year for an educational exchange. In return, these Fort Worth students host students and teachers from Nagaoka in their homes for a reciprocal exchange. This year’s Fort Worth students returned from Japan last week and the Japanese students arrived here earlier this week. The President of the Harashin Co., Mr. Kazuhiko Hara, also arrived this week. The Harashin Co. has provided the funding for both the Fort Worth and Japanese scholars experience for 20 years and Mr. Hara will be honored August 11th at a 20 year anniversary celebration hosted by Fort Worth Sister Cities. Over 100 people who have taken part in this exchange program will be in attendance. Students and educators from exchanges as far back as 1991 will be there to honor Mr. Hara and give personal testimonials. “It is an honor to recognize and thank Mr. Hara and his entire family for the generosity they have shown the students of Fort Worth who have participated in this unique program,” said Brad Mahon, Chairman of the Board of Sister Cities. “The Harashin Scholars program is our most successful youth exchange and has been funded from Japan. We can’t thank Mr. Hara and his entire family enough for their generosity,” said Mahon. Fort Worth students are selected through a vigorous process including personal interviews, teacher recommendations and essays. The students meet monthly prior to the exchange for cultural and sensitivity training to prepare them for a meaningful experience as they represent Fort Worth and the U.S. A. as Youth Ambassadors. The Class of 2011 includes: Claudia Carranza, Julia King, Allison Meade, Francesca Roberts, Courtney Server, Zack Kurima Blough, Shelby Roberts accompanied by delegation leaders Pam Lea and Dr. Staussa Ervin.